Breaking Barriers and Shaping Futures in Memphis: How A Step Ahead Foundation Helps Women “Plan Their Lives, Their Futures, and Their Babies”


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When Mikal Ann turned 26, she lost her medical insurance coverage but needed her birth control. She and her husband were still undecided about whether they wanted to have kids. Plus, she was going through a lot of changes in her life.

“I had a business degree but ended up taking care of my dad for a while with his health issues. I started working right before Covid hit and was promptly put on furlough. My husband encouraged me to start nursing school as it has always been a dream of mine,” she said.

Finding herself busy in school and now without coverage for her NuvaRing, Mikal Ann began “frantically Googling” to see what her options were. After searching for free birth control, A Step Ahead Foundation came up. Mikal Ann knew that she wanted birth control that she did not have to worry about every month with everything else going on in her life.

She discovered that when it comes to birth control, the internet can be a bit intimidating. However, Mikal Ann did not let that stop her.

“I did a lot of research and was a little scared. Reddit was not helpful, so I just decided to stick to reading the facts,” she said.

Based on her research, she concluded that “the IUD has been around a long time and the benefits outweigh the risks. [She] sure couldn’t afford a baby right now. Plus, it was free.”

She continued: “I know people who love it and thought, you know, if I don’t like it, I can always take it out. It turned out to be the best thing ever. It’s been really great, and I don’t know why I didn’t do it sooner.”

Besides being satisfied with her IUD, getting it for free also made a big difference to Mikal Ann.

“If you don’t have insurance, like I didn’t, it would have cost at least $1,000. Spending that much while I was in school was not realistic. And honestly, it’s not realistic for a lot of people regardless.”

The process was “easy,” and Mikal Ann says that “it was a big weight off [her] shoulders to be able to just live, go to school and not have to worry about getting the money together every month to pay for birth control.”

Mikal Ann has been so pleased with her experience that she even decided to volunteer with A Step Ahead Foundation.

“I finished nursing school and wanted to give back. I think everyone should know about A Step Ahead. I wanted to volunteer especially now that I have my RN. I have more medical knowledge. It made sense to volunteer my time with the organization as a way of scratching that itch to do preventive women’s health care.”

We are so grateful for Mikal Ann’s willingness to take control of her life and to give back to A Step Ahead. If you would like to get involved with our organization, please visit today.